My Orphan Kitten Tilts His Head Severely

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  aaronalverez660 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #835697

    D. R. M.
    Participant

    Hello,

    One week ago, I took in a kitten that my uncle found. His name is Patandishki or Pandemonium, but I call him Panda for short.

    Panda is about three weeks old–black and white, male, Hemingway, apparently long-haired. He’s about 10.5-11 ounces. I took him to the vet a few days ago, and we found out he has an eye infection. He also has a wound on his tail. I’ve been treating the eye infection, and the right eye seems fine. The left eye is cloudy and relatively useless in appearance. His wound seems to be doing well, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting him.

    Panda has just learned how to use the litterbox, and he seems to have a decent enough appetite. He’s nice and plump, but not potbellied. He has a very tiny head in comparison with his body.

    He sleeps most of the day, but when he’s awake he either wants me to hold him or he tries to get away to go exploring. I think this is normal kitten behavior. He also purrs loudly and he usually meows when he’s hungry.

    So, according to this he sounds rather healthy, right?

    On the way to the vet last Thursday (today is Sunday), Panda meowed and tried to get out of his box all the way there. On the way back, he slept the entire time, because I think he was tired. He seemed a little more tired and listless than usual a few days afterwards, but we attributed it to the visit to the vet and a bath the day after. It was a lot of action for such a little baby.

    When I first got Panda, he would attempt to bat his left ear with his back paw. I thought this was just normal “scratching an itch” behavior. Today, I woke up and saw Panda in the litterbox, having just urinated and defecated on his own. I was positively thrilled. After he got out of the litterbox, he wanted to be held. I picked him up and stroked him, and he kept moving his head so that it would be underneath my hand. Basically, he tried to make it so that I would be stroking him the entire time. After a few moments, I put him back in his box. When I saw him a bit later, he was tilting his head severely to the left. I wasn’t sure why. At first I thought it was because his left eye seemed fogged, and I figured he was tilting his head so that he could see better in all directions with his right eye.

    He’s still tilting his head, and it looks almost as though he’s having trouble keeping it up. It doesn’t seem to hurt him, although he does have trouble eating in that position, and he keeps meowing (I think out of hunger.) He’s slept most of the day, and he can move his head to the right. He just won’t keep it there. He keeps it tilted severely to the left. I read up on the subject and realized that it could be a simple ear infection, or it could be something severe. When I saw him later today, he was holding his left ear back and then he tried to scrape it on a paper towel in his box. He sort of tries to bat at it, too. I’ve already checked inside his ears, and I’m not sure if he has mites or an infection. Sometimes he’ll roll onto his back and then shake and struggle to get to his feet again, which he’s never done before. I don’t think that’s a seizure. It looks a lot as though he’s trying to scrape something out of his left ear. Poor baby.

    He spends most of his time sleeping now, but when he’s not sleeping he wants me to hold him. He settles his head on my hand so that he doesn’t have to support it. Then he’ll relax. He calmed when I massaged his neck and ears, and he doesn’t seem to be in pain. I know when he’s irritated or in pain he’ll often let out a little yelp. He still purrs often and loudly.

    I’m taking him to the vet in two days (which is the soonest possible day that the vet is available; otherwise it would be earlier). I could wait until then for a verdict. I’m not the sort of person to personify an animal, but I can’t stand seeing the poor baby in this pathetic state. What do you think could be the problem? Is there anything I can do?

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  D. R. M..
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  D. R. M..
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  D. R. M..

    #835706

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    I could venture a guess, but that would be all it would be…a guess. You watch his behavior, know what is normal for him, and this just doesn’t seem right. You are doing the right thing, getting him to the vet is the best thing you can do. He could have mites, a tick, ear infection, but until the vet can see him, you aren’t going to know for sure. Cats mask pain, it’s a survival technique that keeps them from looking weak and like prey in the wild. And I mean they can mask SEVERE pain like no other animal. You could try a very warm, damp wash cloth on his head by his ear just for the warmth to soothe him. Other than that, I wouldn’t know what to try. Keep us posted, I’d like to hear what the vet says too. 🙂

    #835707

    D. R. M.
    Participant

    I’ll totally keep you posted.

    The poor baby’s exhausted. His neck seems to be sore or tired or something from holding his head in that one position for so long, and he keeps looking for a place where he can lie down and just rest his head. For once, he actually let me situate him in his bed instead of trying to get away. He purrs super loudly if I pet him or pick him up, which I think is a good sign. I wish the vet would be ready sooner, but he’s a travelling vet and he’s only in our area on Tuesday at the earliest. I keep monitoring him; I look in on him constantly, check his breathing, check his position, pet him, talk to him, etc.. He seems soothed when I’m with him. He tries to crawl into my hand and rest his head on my other hand. At least, that’s what I think he’s doing.

    On the good side, he still defecated in spite of his neck. Granted he totally missed the litterbox, but the only times he misses the litterbox so far are when he doesn’t know better (first few times), when he’s too tired, or when he’s having trouble. He’s having trouble dragging his little head around, so I don’t blame him for not using the litterbox. He hasn’t been eating, either, but I think it’s because of his position. He typically eats out of a dish, but I’m going to start putting some food into him with an eyedropper, just to keep him going. He’s meowing a lot…not his “I’m in pain” meows, but more of his “I’m hungry and I need attention” meows. He sort of has different tones of meows for different things, I’ve noticed.
    He keeps having these little spasms where he’ll roll over and have trouble getting up, and it looks a lot like he’s trying to shake something out of his left ear. Poor little baby looks so decrepit.

    #835708

    D. R. M.
    Participant

    Thanks, by the way. I appreciate your help, and anyone else’s help. I’m super well-read in kitten care, but there’s nothing like the actual experience, and this is the first neonatal kitten I’ve ever raised.

    #835709

    pussigato
    Participant

    Hi D.R.M,

    2 things-
    Go to the grocery or Walmart and get some Goats milk. The concentrate is in the baking aisle (mix 1:1 with water) or the pre-mixed in the milk section. TDKers swear by this for kittahs. It give them probiotics and is easier on the tummies.
    Get some cotton balls and dampen them with water. Don’t get it saturated! Gently use them on the ear that he seems to be having trouble with and only twice a day. You be able to see if he has mites because the ball will be black. This should give him some relief. Your vet will evaluate your kittah to determine if he has an infection.

    Let us know how he’s doing.

    PG

    #835711

    D. R. M.
    Participant

    Thanks. I’ll try that.

    He shakes a lot. He’s been having those little shaking fits, too. He seemed fine all night–no shaking fits–but this morning I found him having a little fit and there was urine and stool beside him. I fear it may have been a seizure. These fits, as far as I’m aware, last for less than a minute.

    #835746

    D. R. M.
    Participant

    Took him to the vet. He gave him some fluids, but he said his chances were slim.

    #835749

    katzenjammer
    Participant

    Sorry for dismal prognosis. Still hoping for a turnaround, and whatever happens, please know that you are doing your utmost and most importantly are providing this wee kitty with unconditional love.

    #835755

    pussigato
    Participant

    Sorry. Just stay by him and with your love and care, he may pull out of this. Paws crossed that he does.

    #835757

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Oh no, that’s not what I was hoping for. Did he give any ideas on what his condition is? I posted a link for you to look at, on vestibular disease. There is also a link on the TDK site here where someone wrote in a few years ago with the same problem. He will just be a special needs kitten, and may adjust to this particular problem on his own, if this happens to be what his diagnosis is.
    http://pets.thenest.com/congenital-head-tilt-kittens-11258.html

    12 week old kitten with head tilt


    Keep us posted, hoping the best for you and your baby.

    #835762

    D. R. M.
    Participant

    Thanks for the help everyone. Panda died a few hours ago.

    #835763

    critterlover
    Participant

    I’m so sorry D.R.M. You did the best any one could. My heart hurts for you.

    #835769

    katzenjammer
    Participant

    So sorry for your loss D. R. M. It probably doesn’t take away such fresh grief, but your sweet kitty had the best of love and care in his short life. RIP Panda, frisking about the Meadow next to the Rainbow Bridge. Take good care of yourself D. R. M.

    #835778

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Awww D.R.M., I am so sorry. Sleep sweetly little Panda, and frolic in the Meadow and wait for Mommy. Look around, you will see many of our TDK kittens and cats who will take you under their wings. May he chase butterflies and sleep in the warm grass until you meet again.

    #835820

    pussigato
    Participant

    OH, D.R.M.-I am sorry wee Panda is gone. You gave him love and kindness in his life and he will carry that with him as he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. 😥

    #861413

    aaronalverez660
    Participant

    Hello I think your kitten maybe dos this because he had a seizure I’m not a vet but I know the day I had to put Louie dog to sleep” god bless his soul I’ll see you when I get there buddy ” but that awful day the vet mentioned that Louie dog was tilting his head slightly and the vet said that was becouse Louie dog had a seizure.so maybe your kitten maybe if the rules are the same for kittens as they are for dogs might also suffered a sezuire.or maybe she smokes a lot of kitty weed and from this developed a permenint I’m way to stoned to understand what your saying dude head shrug

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